‚The danger today is that out of sheer fatigue and exasperation, the US might cut loose and exit from Afghanistan leaving it to the region to cope with the debris, which it is ill-equipped to handle,‘ says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. | India must prepare for the daybreak of peace in Afghanistan
Martin Zeis, Sep 07, 2017
below wellknown „Roving Eye“ Pepe Escobar boils the landmark Xiamen-BRICS-move – challenging the USD-hegemony – down to an essence.
More substantial articles relating to the Korea-Crisis, the geopolitical shift in the Pacific Rim and the importance of the Shanghai/Hongkong-established Crude-Oil-Yuan-Gold-Futures see:
Three Dangerous Delusions About Korea
By James Jatras, Sep 02, 2017
Proposal for a Lasting Korea Peace Agreement: Signing of a Bilateral North-South Korea Peace Treaty
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, September 05, 2017
America’s Financial War Strategy
By Alasdair Macleod, May 02, 2017
China Readies Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Benchmark Backed By Gold
By Tsvetana Paraskova – Sep 01, 2017
Greets, Martin Zeis
05.09.2017 — http://www.atimes.com/article/real-brics-bombshell/
The real BRICS bombshell
Putin reveals ‚fair multipolar world‘ concept in which oil contracts could bypass the US dollar and be traded with oil, yuan and gold
By Pepe Escobar
The annual BRICS summit in Xiamen – where President Xi Jinping was once mayor – could not intervene in a more incandescent geopolitical context.
Once again, it’s essential to keep in mind that the current core of BRICS is “RC”; the Russia-China strategic partnership. So in the Korean peninsula chessboard, RC context – with both nations sharing borders with the DPRK – is primordial.
Beijing has imposed a definitive veto on war – of which the Pentagon is very much aware.
Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test, although planned way in advance, happened only three days after two nuclear-capable US B-1B strategic bombers conducted their own “test” alongside four F-35Bs and a few Japanese F-15s.
Everyone familiar with the Korean peninsula chessboard knew there would be a DPRK response to these barely disguised “decapitation” tests.
So it’s back to the only sound proposition on the table: the RC “double freeze”. Freeze on US/Japan/South Korea military drills; freeze on North Korea’s nuclear program; diplomacy takes over.
The White House, instead, has evoked ominous “nuclear capabilities” as a conflict resolution mechanism.
Gold mining in the Amazon, anyone?
On the Doklam plateau front, at least New Delhi and Beijing decided, after two tense months, on “expeditious disengagement” of their border troops. This decision was directly linked to the approaching BRICS summit – where both India and China were set to lose face big time.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already tried a similar disruption gambit prior to the BRICS Goa summit last year. Then, he was adamant that Pakistan should be declared a “terrorist state”. The RC duly vetoed it.
Modi also ostensively boycotted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Hangzhou last May, essentially because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
India and Japan are dreaming of countering BRI with a semblance of connectivity project; the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC). To believe that the AAGC – with a fraction of the reach, breath, scope and funds available to BRI – may steal its thunder, is to enter prime wishful-thinking territory.
Still, Modi emitted some positive signs in Xiamen; “We are in mission-mode to eradicate poverty; to ensure health, sanitation, skills, food security, gender equality, energy, education.” Without this mammoth effort, India’s lofty geopolitical dreams are D.O.A.
Brazil, for its part, is immersed in a larger-than-life socio-political tragedy, “led” by a Dracula-esque, corrupt non-entity; Temer The Usurper. Brazil’s President, Michel Temer, hit Xiamen eager to peddle “his” 57 major, ongoing privatizations to Chinese investors – complete with corporate gold mining in an Amazon nature reserve the size of Denmark. Add to it massive social spending austerity and hardcore anti-labor legislation, and one’s got the picture of Brazil currently being run by Wall Street. The name of the game is to profit from the loot, fast.
The BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) – a counterpart to the World Bank – is predictably derided all across the Beltway. Xiamen showed how the NDB is only starting to finance BRICS projects. It’s misguided to compare it with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). They will be investing in different types of projects – with the AIIB more focused on BRI. Their aim is complementary.
‘BRICS Plus’ or bust
On the global stage, the BRICS are already a major nuisance to the unipolar order. Xi politely put it in Xiamen as “we five countries [should] play a more active part in global governance”.
And right on cue Xiamen introduced “dialogues” with Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Guinea and Tajikistan; that’s part of the road map for “BRICS Plus” – Beijing’s conceptualization, proposed last March by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for expanding partnership/cooperation.
A further instance of “BRICS Plus” can be detected in the possible launch, before the end of 2017, of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – in the wake of the death of TPP.
Contrary to a torrent of Western spin, RCEP is not “led” by China.
Japan is part of it – and so is India and Australia alongside the 10 ASEAN members. The burning question is what kind of games New Delhi may be playing to stall RCEP in parallel to boycotting BRI.
Patrick Bond in Johannesburg has developed an important critique, arguing that “centrifugal economic forces” are breaking up the BRICS, thanks to over-production, excessive debt and de-globalization. He interprets the process as “the failure of Xi’s desired centripetal capitalism.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Never underestimate the power of Chinese centripetal capitalism – especially when BRI hits a higher gear.
Meet the oil/yuan/gold triad
It’s when President Putin starts talking that the BRICS reveal their true bombshell. Geopolitically and geo-economically, Putin’s emphasis is on a “fair multipolar world”, and “against protectionism and new barriers in global trade.” The message is straight to the point.
The Syria game-changer – where Beijing silently but firmly supported Moscow – had to be evoked; “It was largely thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries that conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria.”
On the Korean peninsula, it’s clear how RC think in unison; “The situation is balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict.”
Putin’s judgment is as scathing as the – RC-proposed – possible solution is sound; “Putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile. The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions.”
Putin’s – and Xi’s – concept of multilateral order is clearly visible in the wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, which proposes an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and national reconciliation process, “including the Moscow Format of consultations” and the “Heart of Asia-Istanbul process”.
That’s code for an all-Asian (and not Western) Afghan solution brokered by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by RC, and of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member.
And then, Putin delivers the clincher;
“Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.”
“To overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies” is the politest way of stating what the BRICS have been discussing for years now; how to bypass the US dollar, as well as the petrodollar.
Beijing is ready to step up the game. Soon China will launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold.
This means that Russia – as well as Iran, the other key node of Eurasia integration – may bypass US sanctions by trading energy in their own currencies, or in yuan.
Inbuilt in the move is a true Chinese win-win; the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.
The new triad of oil, yuan and gold is actually a win-win-win. No problem at all if energy providers prefer to be paid in physical gold instead of yuan. The key message is the US dollar being bypassed.
RC – via the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China – have been developing ruble-yuan swaps for quite a while now.
Once that moves beyond the BRICS to aspiring “BRICS Plus” members and then all across the Global South, Washington’s reaction is bound to be nuclear (hopefully, not literally).
Washington’s strategic doctrine rules RC should not be allowed by any means to be preponderant along the Eurasian landmass. Yet what the BRICS have in store geo-economically does not concern only Eurasia – but the whole Global South.
Sections of the War Party in Washington bent on instrumentalizing India against China – or against RC – may be in for a rude awakening. As much as the BRICS may be currently facing varied waves of economic turmoil, the daring long-term road map, way beyond the Xiamen Declaration, is very much in place. — emphasis, zerohedge —
Martin Zeis 13.05.2017
Tomorrow the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is starting in Beijing. Representatives from more than a hundred nations will converge in Beijing and most of them are from the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
„Of course we will have Vladimir Putin, representing the Russia-China strategic partnership (BRICS, SCO) that spans everything from energy to infrastructure projects (including the future Trans-Siberian high-speed rail). But, crucially, we will also have Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, leaders of two key hubs of OBOR/BRI.
Most of the West still needs a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing. And a lot of Western media revel in dismissing OBOR/BRI as a conspiracy, a “scheme”, or a Chinese attempt to “encircle” Eurasia. Only one G7 leader will be in Beijing; Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who is very keen to investigate symbiotic links between Italy’s Industry 4.0 program and China’s Made in China 2025 manufacturing initiative.
Angela Merkel might have turned down her invitation but it doesn’t really matter as German industrialists are all for OBOR/BRI.“ (1)
In an article „China widens its Silk Road to the world“ Escobar specifies the geopolitical/geoeconomic implications of this connectivity project — spanning 65 nations, 60% of the world’s population and a third of global economic output.
Escobar is one of the few world famous journalists covering the New Silk Roads since they were first announced in 2013. (2)
(1) Asia Times 13.05.2017 – see attachment (pdf) and URL: http://www.atimes.com/article/china-widens-silk-road-world
(2) Pepe Escobar: New Silk Roads and an Alternate Eurasian Century; TomDispatchOctober 5, 2014 URL: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175903/tomgram%3A_pepe_escobar%2C_new_silk_roads_and_an_alternate_eurasian_century/#more
Hybrid Wars 4. In the Greater Heartland (I)
(Please reference the entire Law of Hybrid War series in order to get acquainted with the strategic themes of this article)
The Crossroads Of The Multipolar World
Redefining The Heartland:
The “Greater Heartland” acquires its premier strategic and economic importance due to being the supercontinental fulcrum of multipolar integration. As was mentioned at the end of Part III, there’s a direct overlap between Russia’s Eurasian Union and China’s New Silk Road, and the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan presently fall under both connective umbrellas. To those attuned with geopolitical theory, these three states noticeably correlate with the broad territory that early 20th-century British strategist Halford Mackinder termed the “Heartland”, which he defined as the geopolitical pivot of Eurasia. More contemporary strategists narrowed the region down to the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia, but the author feels that this is presently insufficient to accommodate for the changing dynamics of the evolving world order, and thus proposes a modification of the concept to include Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as well. This redefined version of Mackinder’s original thesis moves the center of geopolitical gravity in a more southwards direction (by contrast, Mackinder’s broad contours included all of Siberia and most of the Russian Far East) in order to reflect more relevant areas of geopolitical competition between the unipolar and multipolar worlds in the context of the New Cold War.
Corresponding to the Greater Heartland, there are four generalized zones of connectivity, and each has them has their own geo-economic role in the large framework. (…)
The full article attached as PDF:In the Greater Heartlands 20160325
December 18, 2015
The nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists seems to be coming true: foreign economic independence from U.S. control. Instead of privatizing and neoliberalizing the world under U.S.-cen…